By Maithri Mahaveer
Jun 21: International Day of Yoga is observed on June 21 every year to spread awareness about the importance and effects of yoga on the health of the people. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated in India. The word 'yoga' is derived from Sanskrit which means to join or to unite.
The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 27 September 2014, where he stated that yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition.
Recognizing its universal appeal, on December 11, 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131. The United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga', months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed the idea.
The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on June 21 since 2015.
A yoga session includes
- Asana (yoga postures)
- Pranayamas (breathing technique )
- Meditations and relaxation
- yoga Nidra
- Focus on natural lifestlye and healthy and balanced diet.
Pregnancy yoga has taken yoga to the next level which has helped many pregnant women to deliver normally and with ease.
Importance of yoga during preganancy
Pregnancy is a condition in which women undergo distinct physiological changes and stress and is accompanied by unique physical and psychological demands. There is a need to manage the various physical, emotional, mental, and pain states that arise throughout the stages of pregnancy and labor.
Maternal stress and anxiety during pregnancy is associated with a host of negative consequences for the foetus and subsequent development.
How is pregnancy yoga different from regular yoga?
Regular yoga positions that are not safe for pregnant ladies include poses that directly compress your belly, such as forward bends and twists. But that is where the prenatal modifications come in, which include balancing poses.
Prenatal yoga classes offer a balanced sequence of joint mobility exercises, seated postures, standing postures, hip openers, breathing, and relaxation exercises.
Benefits of prenatal yoga
Prenatal yoga sounds like a healthy practice to adopt during pregnancy - and it is. But what specifically can prenatal yoga do to help you feel great and stay calm during the most important nine months of your life?
Maintaining good health during this period is a challenge. Exercise during pregnancy is a key component ensuring maximal health states for both mother and child.
It is a combination of physical poses called asana, breathing techniques pranayama, meditation and relaxation.
Together these aspects of yoga work together to strengthen the body, correct the flow of energy through the body, and allow the yoga participants to become move in tune with her body in order to allow it to guide her actions and movements.
Anxiety and stress resulting from the factors can have many adverse effects on the pregnancy and the developing child.Class becomes a pregnancy support group, where women connect with other women. Practicing yoga results in improved blood circulation ,which prevents leg cramps and promotes a natural and healthy birth.
Benefits of postnatal yoga
Taking some time for herself should be a priority for the mother. During postnatal yoga classes, the focus is on the mother, so she will be refreshed and ready to parent again after class. Original sets of yoga practices, many of which are now mainstream, are uniquely suited to help the mother regain her core-strength, her figure and overall fitness after birth by restoring tone to the deep muscles of the pelvis and lower back. A postnatal yoga class provides new mothers an environment where they can have some time for themselves. Strengthening the abdominal muscles which are overstretched during pregnancy. Gentle twists which help shrink the uterus. Specific exercise designed to get your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles back in shape again, releases tension from breastfeeding, and helps to prevent postnatal depression.
Is practising yoga safe during preganany?
There are many important factors to take into account when choosing to learn prenatal yoga. The safest way is to take a class designed for pregnant women. It is important you look for classes taught by a certified prenatal yoga instructor, as they are familiar with the specific poses to avoid and which ones to focus on.
About the author: Maithri Mahaveer is a graduate in bachelors of computer applications and an Indian Montessori trained teacher. She holds a postgraduate diploma in yogic science from Mangalore University and is a certified yoga instructor in pre and postnatal yoga from Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan under the guidance of Dr Ajithesha N H. She has attended several workshops and takes up classes at St Aloysius Fitness Centre, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and is a yoga consultant at KMC Hospital, Mangaluru. Her areas of expertise include safe and unsafe postures during pregnancy, differences in yoga by trimester and how to modify, breathing and relaxation techniques, pregnancy discomforts and yogic remedies, and teaching methodology for prenatal and post-natal yoga.